Yes, it’s about time.
“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while,” says Jesus to his disciples.
That was in my daily reading this morning, and, oh, how I do long for a retreat. I’ve been away from the family on weekends relatively recently, but it’s been a while since it was truly a retreat for retreat’s state. At this point in my life, I need clarity, calm, and a solid sense of direction and purpose. This is harder to maintain when one is frazzled, drowning in to-do’s, or just downright tired.
Jesus was speaking to his disciples. I wonder who speaks to the women these days. Who tells the overworked mother to rest a moment, take an hour between nursing, grab a pot of tea and go gaze out the window . . . or sleep a few minutes. All will be well. Who tells the outside-the-home-working-mothers that it’s okay to be away for another day or two from the family, not to feel guilty about the piling chores and pleading eyes? I don’t think anyone speaks up because those around us aren’t sure that all will truly be well. But, it’s better for a mom to take some time out than to walk around getting crazy eyes and becoming more and more like a woman on edge. Maybe I project.
We have to take care of ourselves. To nearly every mother I talk to, I ask if she’s taking care of herself. I ask about her support system. To the women I work with and for others I know, I try to set an example. If I can get away from my household with four kids, surely they can, too. It’s not perfect, but it’s OKAY.
I wonder about those who don’t need or take time-outs for themselves. Are they being honest? Have they fully shut down from their inner voices that guide and protect their best interests? Because I think that’s where dreams and hopes exist. If we shut out that voice, we risk losing sight of who we truly are and thus risk losing our sense of purpose in this world. Yes, being a mother is a worthy purpose, but does it give you a sense of joy — mind, body, and soul? If not, you’re not listening carefully enough to yourself. If so, blessings, my Mother-friend; spread that love and joy!
I grant you permission to take a time-out. Find a friend with a cabin for a night or a weekend. Pack your favorite nourishing food and beverage. Sleep in silence, all by yourself. For you extroverts, take a gang of mothers with you and enjoy the party! If a weekend doesn’t work, take at least 15 minutes a day for you, and only you. I smile thinking of my friend who locks the bathroom door for her quiet time. Take it where you can get it!
As the kids get older, it gets easier to find the time, but priorities will still have to be juggled. Seeking out a deserted place, finding the time to listen to my still, small voice, I know more clearly what the priorities are. It takes that leap of faith to put me first that ironically grants me insight as to what is best for all.